References of "Schmitz, Xavier"
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See detailThe Benefits of Errorless Learning for Serial Reaction Time Performance in Alzheimer's Disease.
Schmitz, Xavier ULg; Bier, Nathalie; Joubert, Sven et al

in Journal of Alzheimer's Disease [=JAD] (2014), 39(2), 287-300

Identifying the conditions favoring new procedural skill learning in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) could be important for patients’ autonomy. It has been suggested that error elimination is beneficial during ... [more ▼]

Identifying the conditions favoring new procedural skill learning in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) could be important for patients’ autonomy. It has been suggested that error elimination is beneficial during skill learning, but no study has explored the advantage of this method in sequential learning situations. In this study, we examined the acquisition of a 6-element perceptual-motor sequence by AD patients and healthy older adults (control group). We compared the impact of two preliminary sequence learning conditions (Errorless vs. Errorful) on Serial Reaction Time performance at two different points in the learning process. A significant difference in reaction times for the learned sequence and a new sequence was observed in both conditions in healthy older participants; in AD patients, the difference was significant only in the errorless condition. The learning effect was greater in the errorless than the errorful condition in both groups. However, while the errorless advantage was found at two different times in the learning process in the AD group, in the control group this advantage was observed only at the halfway point. These results support the hypothesis that errorless learning allows for faster automation of a procedure than errorful learning in both AD and healthy older subjects. [less ▲]

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See detailValidation d’un test d’inhibition auprès d’enfants présentant un trouble déficitaire de l’attention avec/sans hyperactivité
Catale, Corinne ULg; Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Schmitz, Xavier ULg et al

in Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science = Revue Canadienne des Sciences du Comportement (2014), 46(1), 66-72

The objective of this study was to assess the development of inhibition in 5-11 years old children with the “Stroop fruit” task (see Archibald & Kerns, 1999; Catale & Meulemans, 2005) and to examine the ... [more ▼]

The objective of this study was to assess the development of inhibition in 5-11 years old children with the “Stroop fruit” task (see Archibald & Kerns, 1999; Catale & Meulemans, 2005) and to examine the clinical value of this tool. 346 French-speaking children without any developmental disorders or learning disabilities were included in this study. A clinical group of 25 children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder was also assessed with this task. Developmental analyses on age groups show an enhancement of performance in the interference condition between 5 and 8 years old. Furthermore, results also show that the clinical group performed significantly less accurately that the control group for the interference condition, which confirms the clinical interest of this tool. [less ▲]

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See detailAge-Related Differences in Perceptuomotor Procedural Learning in Children
Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Catale, Corinne ULg; Schmitz, Xavier ULg et al

in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (2013), 116

Procedural learning is generally considered to proceed in a series of phases, with cognitive resources playing an important role during the initial step. From a developmental perspective, little is known ... [more ▼]

Procedural learning is generally considered to proceed in a series of phases, with cognitive resources playing an important role during the initial step. From a developmental perspective, little is known about the development of procedural learning or the role played by explicit cognitive processes during learning. The main objectives of this study were: (1) to determine whether procedural learning performance improves with age by comparing groups of 7-yearold children, 10-year-old children, and adults, and (2) to investigate the role played by executive functions during the acquisition in these three age groups. Seventy-six subjects were assessed on a computerized adaptation of the mirror tracing paradigm. Results revealed that the youngest children had more difficulty adapting to the task (they were slower and committed more errors at the beginning of the learning process) than 10-year-olds, but despite this age effect observed at the outset, all children improved performance across trials and transferred their skill to a different figure as well as adults. Correlational analyses showed that inhibition abilities play a key role in the performance of 10-year-olds and adults at the beginning of the learning, but not in 7-year-olds. Overall, our results suggest that the age-related differences observed in our procedural learning task are at least partly due to the differential involvement of inhibition abilities, which may facilitate (so long as they are sufficiently developed) learning in the initial steps of learning process; however, they would not be a necessary condition for skill learning to occur. [less ▲]

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See detailPrevious errorless sequence-learning promotes subsequent SRT performance in patients with Alzheimer's Disease
Schmitz, Xavier ULg; Bier, Nathalie; Joubert, Sven et al

Poster (2012, July 17)

Motor-learning capacities are known to be relatively preserved in Alzheimer's disease (AD), which is crucial in the context of the patient’s autonomy (e.g., Rouleau et al., 2002). However, it is important ... [more ▼]

Motor-learning capacities are known to be relatively preserved in Alzheimer's disease (AD), which is crucial in the context of the patient’s autonomy (e.g., Rouleau et al., 2002). However, it is important to determine the most appropriate techniques for such learning. In AD, implicit or procedural rehabilitation techniques would be more effective to train new skills than explicit or declarative learning methods (van Halteren-van Tilborg, 2007). Maxwell et al. (2001) showed that reducing errors during motor learning minimizes the building of declarative knowledge and would allow implicit knowledge accumulation. If errorless learning induces the formation of an implicit knowledge, this technique appears to be adapted to the learning of a perceptual-motor skill in patients with impaired controlled processes. Very few studies have investigated errorless learning in procedural learning situations, even though some data suggest that errorless learning would be efficient for learning instrumental activities of daily living (e.g., Thivierge et al., 2008). In this study we examined the acquisition of a new perceptual-motor skill in 12 patients with AD and 12 healthy older adults. We compared the impact of two preliminary sequence learning conditions (errorless vs. errorful) on a serial reaction time (SRT) performance. In SRT, the subject must react as quickly as possible to the appearance of a target on a screen by pressing the key corresponding to the position of the stimulus. The effectiveness of learning is demonstrated by a reaction time improvement when the target follows a repeating sequence. For patients with AD, results confirm that the advantage provided by prior learning occurs only in the errorless condition whereas both learning modes improve SRT performance in healthy participants. In conclusion, these results confirm that the errorless learning promotes the development of implicit knowledge and appears to be an effective method for procedural learning in Alzheimer's disease. [less ▲]

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See detailPROCEDURAL VISUAL LEARNING IN CHILDREN WITH SPECIFIC LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENT
Gabriel, Audrey ULg; Stefaniak, Nicolas ULg; Maillart, Christelle ULg et al

in American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (2012)

Purpose: According to the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH), difficulties in the Procedural Learning (PL) system may contribute to the language difficulties observed in children with Specific Language ... [more ▼]

Purpose: According to the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH), difficulties in the Procedural Learning (PL) system may contribute to the language difficulties observed in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Method: Fifteen children with SLI and their typically developing (TD) peers were compared on visual PL tasks: specifically, deterministic Serial Reaction Time (SRT) tasks. In a first experiment, children with SLI and their TD peers performed the classical SRT task using a keyboard as response mode. In a second experiment, they performed the same SRT task but gave their responses through a touchscreen (instead of a keyboard) to reduce the motor and cognitive demands of the task. Results: Although in Experiment 1, children with SLI demonstrated learning, they were slower and made more errors than their TD peers. Nevertheless, these relative weaknesses disappeared when the nature of the response mode changed (Experiment 2). Conclusions: This study reports that children with SLI may exhibit sequential learning. Moreover, the generally slower RTs observed in previous deterministic SRT studies may be explained by the response mode used. Thus, our findings are not consistent with the predictions of the PDH, and suggest that language impairments in SLI are not sustained by poor procedural learning abilities. [less ▲]

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See detailProcedural learning in Developmental Coordination Disorder
Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Catale, Corinne ULg; Schmitz, Xavier ULg et al

in Books of Abstract: 1st Joint Meeting of the Belgian Association for Psychological Science & Sociedad Espanola de Psicologica Experimental (2012, May 11)

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a developmental disorder characterized by marked impairments in motor skills. Despite its negative impact on daily activities and on cognitive and academic ... [more ▼]

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a developmental disorder characterized by marked impairments in motor skills. Despite its negative impact on daily activities and on cognitive and academic performance, the mechanisms underlying DCD remain largely unknown. The aim of our study was to investigate the hypothesis of a motor procedural learning impairment in DCD, which would explain difficulties in motor learning and automation of novel motor skills in these children. A total of 32 children (16 with DCD and 16 typically developing [TD] children) aged between 6 and 12 years old participated in this study. Children were administered a task adapted from the traditional shapes’ mirror-tracing task. Results showed that DCD children were able to learn the skill as fast as TD children; the learning pattern of DCD and TD children in motor procedural learning is similar. But is there any generalization of a new perceptual-motor skill in DCD children? Actually, DCD children were slower during the transfer task (triangle task) than TD children; the transfer task was more difficult for the DCD children than their peers. DCD children and TD children differ in their abilities to generalize the motor schema to a new task, more complex. These results confirm the hypothesis of a motor procedural learning impairment in DCD. [less ▲]

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See detailThe benefits of prior sequence learning on a serial reaction time performance in Alzheimer's disease: Comparison of two learning methods
Schmitz, Xavier ULg; Bier, Nathalie; Joubert, Sven et al

Conference (2012, May 10)

It is well known that patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are able to acquire new perceptual-motor skills (e.g., Rouleau et al., 2002). However, implicit learning methods should be favored, because ... [more ▼]

It is well known that patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are able to acquire new perceptual-motor skills (e.g., Rouleau et al., 2002). However, implicit learning methods should be favored, because they reduce the intervention of controlled processes related to working memory (Van Halteren-Van Tilborg, 2007). We compared two learning methods (implicit vs. declarative) of a perceptual-motor sequence in 12 patients with AD and 12 healthy older adults. In the implicit learning condition, subjects were simply asked to perform the sequence several times by pushing on the keyboard key corresponding to the stimulus on the screen. In the declarative condition, subjects learned the sequence by trial-and-error. The impact of the two methods was compared in a subsequent serial reaction time task, in which subjects had to respond as quickly as possible to the previously learned sequence. Results show that prior implicit learning is effective in both groups (p<.05). In contrast, in the declarative condition, while the two groups showed improving performance during the learning phase (p<0.01), only the control group benefits from this knowledge during the SRT task (p<0.01). In conclusion, our results show preserved perceptual-motor learning in AD when the method induces the intervention of non-declarative, automatic memory processes. [less ▲]

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See detailUnimpaired Procedural visual learning abilities in children with specific language impairment..
Gabriel, Audrey ULg; Stefaniak, Nicolas ULg; Maillart, Christelle ULg et al

in American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (2012)

Purpose: According to the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH), difficulties in the Procedural Learning (PL) system may contribute to the language difficulties observed in children with Specific Language ... [more ▼]

Purpose: According to the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH), difficulties in the Procedural Learning (PL) system may contribute to the language difficulties observed in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Method: Fifteen children with SLI and their typically developing (TD) peers were compared on visual PL tasks: specifically, deterministic Serial Reaction Time (SRT) tasks. In a first experiment, children with SLI and their TD peers performed the classical SRT task using a keyboard as response mode. In a second experiment, they performed the same SRT task but gave their responses through a touchscreen (instead of a keyboard) to reduce the motor and cognitive demands of the task. Results: Although in Experiment 1, children with SLI demonstrated learning, they were slower and made more errors than their TD peers. Nevertheless, these relative weaknesses disappeared when the nature of the response mode changed (Experiment 2). Conclusions: This study reports that children with SLI may exhibit sequential learning. Moreover, the generally slower RTs observed in previous deterministic SRT studies may be explained by the response mode used. Thus, our findings are not consistent with the predictions of the PDH, and suggest that language impairments in SLI are not sustained by poor procedural learning abilities. [less ▲]

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See detailIs motor sequence learning impaired in Developmental Coordination Disorder?
Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Catale, Corinne ULg; Schmitz, Xavier ULg et al

Poster (2012)

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a developmental disorder characterized by marked impairments in motor skills. Despite its negative impact on daily activities and on cognitive and academic ... [more ▼]

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a developmental disorder characterized by marked impairments in motor skills. Despite its negative impact on daily activities and on cognitive and academic performance, the mechanisms underlying this disorder remain largely unknown. One hypothesis that has been proposed is that the poor motor coordination abilities may be attributed to impairments in motor learning and, more specifically, in learning of the correct sequencing of movements (Gheysen et al., 2011). To date, only two studies have directly investigated sequence learning in DCD, but their results are contradictory. The aim of this study was to explore learning of motor sequence in DCD children by means of a modified version of the Serial Reaction Time (SRT) task where the standard keyboard was replaced by a touch screen in order to reduce the impact of the DCD group’s motor difficulties. A total of 34 children (17 with DCD and 17 typically developing (TD) children aged between 6 and 12 years old participated in this study. Results show that DCD children were able to learn the sequence as fast and as accurately as TD children. These findings, showing that children with DCD present the same degree of implicit learning as TD children, differ from those obtained by Gheysen et al. (2011) and so, challenge the motor sequence learning deficit hypothesis. We suggest that differences between studies are not related to an implicit sequence learning deficit per se in children with DCD, but rather to methodological aspects like the response mode used in the studies. [less ▲]

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See detailEfficacy of errorless learning in the acquisition of a new procedural skill in Alzheimer's disease
Schmitz, Xavier ULg; Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Vervecken, Nancy et al

Poster (2011, May 27)

In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), implicit or procedural rehabilitation techniques would be more effective to train new skills than explicit or declarative learning methods (van Halteren-van Tilborg, 2007 ... [more ▼]

In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), implicit or procedural rehabilitation techniques would be more effective to train new skills than explicit or declarative learning methods (van Halteren-van Tilborg, 2007). Following Baddeley and Wilson (1994)’s assumption, Maxwell et al. (2001) showed that reducing errors during motor learning minimizes the building of declarative knowledge and would allow implicit knowledge accumulation. However, most studies on errorless learning focused on learning of face-name associations (Clare et al., , 2001), and very few studies have investigated errorless learning in procedural learning situations, even though some data suggest that errorless learning would be efficient for learning instrumental activities of daily living (e.g., Thivierge et al., 2008). The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy of an error-reducing versus an errorfull method in motor skill learning. We examined the acquisition of a new motor skill in 24 patients with AD and 24 healthy older adults matched for age, sex, and education. In this task, subjects had to follow with a reversed mouse the contour of a form (a star) displayed on a computer screen. Half the subjects learned in an error-reducing condition, and the others in an errorfull condition. After the learning phase, all the subjects had to complete a novel form. Results show an advantage for the error-reducing condition in the AD group, whereas the performance of the healthy participants did not differ between the two conditions, confirming the efficiency of errorless learning principles in AD for procedural learning situations. [less ▲]

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See detailWhat is the impact of the sequence structure on implicit learning in children?
Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Schmitz, Xavier ULg; Lempereur, Stéphanie et al

Poster (2010, May 28)

It is generally admitted that implicit learning abilities are efficient early in childhood. However, few studies have explored the impact of the structure of the sequence on children’s performance in ... [more ▼]

It is generally admitted that implicit learning abilities are efficient early in childhood. However, few studies have explored the impact of the structure of the sequence on children’s performance in implicit learning tasks. The current research was intended to examine sequence learning abilities in children by comparing sequences of different structural characteristics. [less ▲]

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See detailThe impact of culture on cognitive performance in neuropsychological tests.
Schmitz, Xavier ULg; Mardaga, Julie; Meulemans, Thierry ULg

Poster (2009, September 17)

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See detailEffects of time of day on age-related differences in cognitive tests.
Schmitz, Xavier ULg; Willems, Sylvie ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg

Poster (2009, June 03)

Previous studies have shown a shift in the circadian rhythm – and more particularly in the optimal time of day (OTD) – across the adult life span (May et al., 1993). The aim of this study was to ... [more ▼]

Previous studies have shown a shift in the circadian rhythm – and more particularly in the optimal time of day (OTD) – across the adult life span (May et al., 1993). The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between cognitive efficiency and OTD in 113 healthy old adults (Age: M = 69, SD = 6.1, Range = 60-80) and 175 younger adults (M = 40.8, SD = 12.9, Range = 20-59). Participants performed a large battery of cognitive tests that assessed episodic memory, working memory, executive and attentional functions. Results on the MEQ (Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire; Horne & Östberg, 1976) confirmed the age-related shift toward a self-reported morning preference in older adults. Second, the categorization of participants according to their MEQ scores and the time of testing revealed that the OTD has a greater impact upon cognitive performance in older than in younger adults. Third, the age-related OTD impact was more striking in working memory (Brown-Peterson and Pasat) and episodic memory tasks (Buschke) than in other aspects of the cognitive functioning. In conclusion, older participants tested during their peak circadian periods tend to show greater performance on memory tasks that require careful or strategic processing relative to older participants who are tested at off-peak times of day. Taken together, these findings indicate that care must be taken when investigators are considering the effects of age on effortful memory tasks, which are particularly modulated by OTD in older adults. [less ▲]

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See detailParental socio-educational influence on executive measures and socio-adaptative behaviours in preschooler
Catale, Corinne ULg; Schmitz, Xavier ULg; Lejeune, Caroline ULg et al

in Books of Conference Abstract: The10th European Conference on Psychological Assessment, (2009)

The influence of educational variables on cognitive development, and particularly on the development of executive functions, remains poorly understood. In this study, we examined the parental socio ... [more ▼]

The influence of educational variables on cognitive development, and particularly on the development of executive functions, remains poorly understood. In this study, we examined the parental socio-educational influence on both executive functioning and social/emotional behaviours in preschoolers. We administered to 77 children (2 age groups: 4 and 5-year-old) divided into two educational levels (HL vs. LL, i.e. High Level vs. Low Level of parental socio-educational status) several tasks measuring different aspects of the executive functioning (cognitive flexibility, inhibition, logico-deductive reasoning, and working memory). Questionnaires were also completed by the teaching staff in order to assess the children’s social (e.g., loneliness), emotional (e.g., anxiety), and adaptative (e.g., tolerance) behaviours at school. Results reveal that children from high socio-educational status performed significantly better on some specific verbal (fluency, verbal reasoning) and non-verbal executive tasks (deductive reasoning, inhibition) than children from lower socio-educational status (ps<.05). On the other hand, no significant socio-educational effect was found for working memory and cognitive flexibility. Regarding their social, emotional, and adaptative behaviours, LL children did not significantly differ from HL children, except for the anxiety scale, in which LL children were described as less confident than their HL peers. So, our results confirm that educational variables can significantly influence the development of specific executive functions, and that this can already be observed in preschool children. On the contrary, regarding the socio-adaptative behaviours, our results indicate that the parental socio-educational status does not seem to have a significant influence on the preschoolers’ behaviour at school. [less ▲]

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